Italian food fans always have a favorite go-to restaurant and dish. But, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and try someplace new. If you live in Raleigh or just visiting, you have plenty of amazing Italian restaurants to choose from.
The local chefs love to cook and use recipes that have been handed down for generations. From nana’s gravy to NYC-style thin crust pizza, you can find it all in Raleigh. The hardest part is deciding which place to eat.
I love Italian food and have been blessed with trying many of the restaurants in this wonderful city. But which restaurants made our best-of list?
You can check out my list of the best Italian restaurants in Raleigh below!
3121 Edwards Mill Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612
Bella Monica is at the top of our list if you want an authentic home-cooked Italian meal in Raleigh.
Located in a small strip mall on the corner of Raleigh Rd and Edwards Mill Road, you can enjoy traditional sauces, unique main dishes, and an excellent wine selection at Bella Monica.
Chef/Owner Corbett Monica and his wife Julie created Bella Monica to capture the experience of Sunday dinners at his Nana’s home.
As soon as you enter Bella Monica, the aromas of simmering gravy and sauteed dishes will excite your senses.
The menu is filled with traditional Italian dishes including meatballs, chicken parmigiana, and antipasti.
135 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Gravy is a quaint yet hip Italian-American eatery approximately one block from Moore Square and Public Park.
As its name suggests, Gravy specializes in sauces. The recipes for the sauces are handed down through generations, and you can taste the love in every bite.
The menu includes a selection of light and hearty fare. You can stop in for a light salad for lunch or a huge plate of lasagna for dinner.
For dessert, you have to try their signature homemade cannolis. Gravy also proudly supports local North Carolina farms and distilleries on their menu.
4209 Lassiter Mill Rd Suite 115, Raleigh, NC 27609
Vivace is a world-class modern Italian dining experience in Raleigh. This fine dining establishment is perfect for dates, birthdays, or family gatherings.
You can find Vivace in the Lassiter at North Hills Apartment Complex in North Hills. Vivace is an ideal location for private events, including intimate occasions and rehearsal dinners.
Executive Chef Ian Sullivan created a menu that combines old-world Italian dishes and modern fine-dining styles. The menu features pizzas, salads, and a variety of homemade pasta.
They also have a selection of fine seafood and steaks. The scallop risotto is always my first choice while dining at Vivace.
4325 Glenwood Ave STE 5000, Raleigh, NC 27612
Brio Italian Grille is in the Crabtree Valley Mall. Open for lunch, brunch, and dinner, Brio features a Tuscan-inspired menu and focuses on northern Italian cuisine.
They also have a diverse wine collection, and the servers are great at helping you choose a bottle for your meal.
Brio has a large and diverse menu. Even the pickiest diners can find something delicious on their menu. Local favorites include lobster & shrimp fettuccine, chicken Milanese, and lamb chops.
The lighter side of the menu features grilled steak salads and strawberry balsamic salads. Brio Italian Grille is a great place to feed a family as well.
They feature family bundle specials and Tuesday dinner for two specials that help families save money on their meals.
136 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601
After strolling through Moore Square, you can cross S. Blount St and stop in Caffe Luna for a relaxing Italian meal.
This stylish and hip restaurant features indoor and outdoor seating. There is also room for business and private events.
Headed by Executive Chef Max Gaskins, the menu is lavish and features many different pasta, Insalata, and entrees.
From traditional dishes like parmigiana to linguine Fra Diavolo, each bite at Caffe Luna ignites your tastebuds.
If you saved room for dessert, I suggest ordering the Tartufo. This dessert combines Haagen Dazs ice cream with walnuts and dark chocolate.
If you’re planning a wedding or celebration, Caffe Luna has a fantastic catering team that handles small and large events on-site or at your location.
6019 Glenwood Ave A, Raleigh, NC 27612
Casa Carbone Ristorante Italiano is a family-owned Italian restaurant in Oak Park Shopping Center. Owners Maria and Michael House opened the restaurant in 1984.
The restaurant serves a diverse menu that features dishes from Naples, Palermo, and Sicily. If you love Southern Italian recipes, Casa Carbone is your best bet in Raleigh.
The stuffed clams are a delightful appetizer to start your meal. Next up, the main dishes include plenty of pasta choices, but I’m partial to the casseroles.
You can choose from lasagna, cannelloni, manicotti, baked ziti, and more. Each meal is large, and it’s great to share with your friends and family.
13200 Falls of Neuse Rd #117, Raleigh, NC 27614
Dante’s Italiano is an intimate and local Italian eatery in North Raleigh. The restaurant features a mix of traditional pasta, Italian seafood, and pizza.
The owners created the perfect atmosphere and some of the best Italian dishes in town. The community and local feel start with the owner of Dante’s Italiano, Daniel Gonzalez.
He’s regularly ready to greet every guest as they enter the restaurant. Once seated, you might have a difficult time choosing a dish since everything on the menu is great.
Some local favorites include frutti di mare, penne baci, and pollo scarpariello. If you want a dish to share, I suggest a large Grandma pizza.
327 W Davie St #108, Raleigh, NC 27601
Tuscan Blu Italian Restaurant is a charming and elegant restaurant located close to CAM Raleigh Museum and Nash Square.
Led by Chef Maurizo, the menu features recipes from his mother and grandma in Tuscany. Part of the charm of Tuscan Blu is its location.
The restaurant is in The Depot, a historic building on a cobblestone road in Raleigh. The quaint charm adds to the dining experience.
Tuscan Blu’s menu features Tuscany dishes like puttanesca and Fiocchi. They also offer a daily special menu that includes seafood, steaks, and homemade pasta dishes.
7400 Six Forks Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615
While visiting Peachtree Market make sure to stop in Vivo Ristorante for a pizza or dinner. Vivo Ristorante offers a comfortable restaurant that’s enjoyable for friends and family.
You can find Peachtree Market and Vivo Ristorante off Six Forks Rd or Mourning Dove Rd. The menu features affordable and hearty dishes.
Everything from marsala to carbonara is on the menu. You can also find steaks and seafood on the menu. Vivo shines when it comes to pizza and calzones.
A cheese calzone is a perfect snack when hanging out at the bar with your friends.
3905 Western Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27606
Amedeo’s Italian Restaurant is a local favorite. Established in 1963 by former NC State football player, Amedeo De Angelis, the restaurant is fun and serves some of the best family-style meals in town.
You can find Amedeo’s just a few steps from NC State Campus on Western Blvd. Part of the NC State Football museum, Amedeo’s has a massive collection of NC State sports memorabilia.
But we’re here to talk about the food, and Amedeo scores a touchdown with their menu. Hearty pasta dishes and gourmet pizzas are the top choices on the menu.
If you’re new to town, you might want to head to Amedeo’s during the week to avoid the rush during football season.
3501 W Millbrook Rd, Raleigh, NC 27613
While fine dining is fun, I enjoy traditional, home-cooked comfort food as well. Assaggio’s Italian Restaurant offers a casual, old-school Italian restaurant in Northwest Raleigh off I-70.
This NY-style Italian eatery is reminiscent of small family-run restaurants in Brooklyn or Little Italy. Assaggio’s brought their NY charm and style to North Carolina in 2004 and it’s been a favorite with locals ever since.
The menu is incredibly affordable and you’ll find some of the best subs, and lunches at Assaggio’s. Of course, they have a hearty dinner menu as well.
Their claim to fame is their pizza. Assaggio’s is the closest you’ll get to authentic NYC pizza in North Carolina. You should head there now and grab a slice.